Leoni cables transmit images from the human brain

Easy way for medical staff to connect SQUID sensors to MEG scanners and a pleasant feel for the patient

Leoni, the leading provider of cables and cable systems to the automotive sector and other industries, supplies cables for connecting patients to modern magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanners. The data cables that Leoni has developed for this application boast interference-free data transfer. Their refined silicone jacket provides an exceptionally pleasant feel, biocompatibility and autoclavability.

Two new Leoni cables link the image-processing electronics with the head coil of a modern MEG scanner that is directly next to the patient. Major requirements in terms of flexibility, feel and suitability for sterilisation were imposed on the development work because these cables come into direct contact with the patient and should, furthermore, be easy for medical staff to handle. Leoni’s MEG cables provide the desired properties with a refined silicone jacket and durable PTFE foils. Silicone as the outer jacket ensures the required skin tolerance, biocompatibility and autoclavability with temperature resistance of up to 143°C. Combined with the PTFE foils, which are applied in a special process, the silicone jacket makes the reeled cable extremely flexible and minimises recoil forces when handled by medical staff. Not least, these MEG cables are structured to be completely antimagnetic to prevent measurement inaccuracies during investigative procedures.

Patients can hardly feel Leoni’s cables on their skin; the cord is easy and efficient to clean and it has been made straightforward for medical staff to connect. This also means time and cost savings for the operator because the individual cables can be connected far more quickly and securely than conventional products. 

What is a MEG scanner? 

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) gives doctors in modern diagnostics real-time results from mapping of brain activity and measurement of brainwaves. It is used for instance in diagnosing neurological disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s or in searching for the causes of depression. 

Electrical currents from nerve cells cause magnetic signals in the brain. MEG involves head coils fitted immediately next to the patient and in which these signals induce voltage. SQUIDs (Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices) measure this activity. As electric currents from brain cells are weak, the key to the quality of MEG results is to fit the coil directly next to the patient’s head and thereby to suppress interference from other areas of the body emitting weak signals. To avoid serious interference from external sources, MEG scanners are normally also set up in electromagnetically shielded rooms.